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Russ Dent was a stalwart of the Sunderland Stars from 1971 to 1974,  he was their captain and there top points scorer still called 'The Skipper’ at Sunderland even after all these years. 

Bob Ferry tells me "Russ along with George Barclay rode in all four seasons with Sunderland, and these two riders carried them through that first very difficult season. Without them I fear Sunderland would not have survived.  For his achievements on their behalf he fully deserves the title of "Mr. Sunderland Speedway"

As it happens, Russ who was born in the United Kingdom and despite Bob Ferry's wishing to call our subject "Mr. Sunderland" he was known by his fans far and wide as "Captain Scarlet" no doubt this nickname owes it's origin to the Sunderland track and its team colours, have they always been scarlet and gold, I suspect they have.

Russ Dent started his riding career in 1962 riding the Brough Park track in Newcastle, he then rode as a contracted rider for Newcastle, Glasgow and, of course, Sunderland.

He considers his best achievement as completing the four years at Sunderland and being the top points scorer. I and Bob Ferry would go further and say that Russ rode more matches than anyone else for Sunderland 139 league and cup, had more rides than anyone else, 569 league and cup, scored more points 931 with 61 bonus that makes 992 league only points and he scored more maximums than anyone else 12 full and 2 paid. He was also won more 'Rider of the Night' finals than anyone else.

He lists his proudest memory as being Captain at Sunderland, he could have added Winning the Northern Star Championship in 1973  and the Teeside Farewell Trophy in 1971,

His worst memory, if he can remember, was having to spend a week in hospital following a head injury sustained at Newcastle.

Russ retired from riding at the end of his fourth season at Sunderland in 1974, I understand he was at that time, in fact the whole time he was at Sunderland, suffering with a stomach ulcer.

Russ is a member of the World Speedway Riders’ Association.

Russ Dent

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